Freshwater Aquarium Folks - URGENT HELP NEEDED!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by LisaJean, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. LisaJean

    LisaJean Songster

    Any of you folks with freshwater aquarium experience, I need your help!

    OK, so I've had my tank for about two months, and it was finally cycled. Well the last week or so, I noticed the filter pack (the three layers of filter) kept floating up and popping the top off the filter system, right?

    So I took the filter pack out and examined it, and discover that the bottom of it was covered with a layer of dark green-brown slime, that smelled like rotting vegetation. Several of the plants in the tanks had died, and got sucked into the filter.

    So I took the filter into the bathroom and rinsed the slime off. Then I decided to clean the whole thing, and I took each of the filter layers out (sponge, charcoal, and ceramic) and rinsed each one under the taps.

    As I was putting the thing back together and putting it back into the tank, it hit me.... I just rinsed the majority of my bacterial cultures down the ^&*$%^* sink!!!!

    So have I killed my fish? I have a bottle of that bacteria booster stuff, so I quickly added that the tank, and poured a little directly into the filter.

    Is this going to cost me all my fish? What should I do? IS there anything I can do???
  2. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I think you are getting WAY to nervous over this. While certain filters
    have their own "biosystems", most of the balancing act is going on in
    the rocks, water, and even the fish themselves. You shouldn't lose any.
    Just watch your PH and ammonia levels.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well... I don't know anything about raising fish other than gold fish and zebra fish... but I tend not to worry about them. Your tank is relatively new so it is still getting established. There should be a good number of bacteria already all over the rocks and stuff in the tank which should be able to repopulate your filter. I remember hearing about when rinsing filters, just use cool water as hot will kill them. If cool, alot of the bacteria will continue to stick on the filter so it is not too much of a worry... When ever I get new rocks for a tank, I take a huge scoop of the rocks from a dirty tank and toss it in.... although nothing but algae grows in my tanks... I guess the fish does.

    Oh, I've also never used bacteria booster... Just when I started a good 15 years ago, I had a cloudy tank, after a while it went away and I assume that that is when the bacteria became established.

    I doubt a filter without bacteria will kill the fish.... but you may have a delicate system in your tank.
  4. LisaJean

    LisaJean Songster

    Quote:Hi Purple! Yeah, I know, I get frantic when it comes to my animals. Especially when I think I've done something to harm them. I didn't even think of that... that the rocks and the water will still have bacteria.

    I just remember the info that came with the filter being very specific about rotating the months that you change one layer of the filter. That to change more than one at a time would deplete the culture too much.

    I'm still out of work, thank God (that sounds funny) so I will be at home to watch the tank. I have the dip-stick testing kit and the one with the drops.

    Man I hope you're right, PC. I was envisioning putting out an urgent Craigslist post asking local people with established aquariums to adopt my poor fish.
  5. LisaJean

    LisaJean Songster

    Quote:Thanks, Silkie! Yeah, PC said the same thing. I didn't even think of that, I had this idea that all the bacteria lived in the filter.

    I have a lot of live plants in the tank, too, and so I would think they would carry some bacteria.
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I had a lot of tanks growing up in the 70s & 80s. Back then when we
    cleaned the filter it meant brand new cotton/substrate and new charcoal.
    Todays filters are marketed as "bio filters". Personally I believe it's a bunch
    of cr*p. I've even had several undergravel filters. Now those were a pain in
    the ars.

    Keep away from most of the chemicals and boosters. Use good well or distilled
    water for water changes, don't overpopulate your tank, and trust nature to do
    it's thing. The best tanks I've had were the ones I messed with the least.

    All's well,
  7. RepoBob

    RepoBob Songster

    Nov 25, 2007
    Hey Don I was big into fish at that time too. It was a fun hobby. Like you said they seem to be hyping all this bio filter stuff. It may be good and all, but I was breeding Angle Fish and all kinds of Ciclids with the kind of filters you are talking about. They kept the water clean enough for the fry (babies) as long as you did the water changes like you said. Its a hobby where just cause a little is good it dosen't mean more is better.
    No Worries
  8. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Quote:Yeah exactly. Ahh the Ciclids, Oscars, & Guarami(bad spelling) were all so much
    fun. Remember the big Diatom filters??

    My next aquarium is gonna be an outside pond.
  9. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    Yup, I had a fishtank in the 70's and 80's also and didn't have or do any of that fancy stuff. My fish did very well thank you. Now we only have goldfish and my SO rinses the filter out regularly and has nothing in the tank except the fish. Ping and Pong are doing well, thank you. [​IMG][​IMG]
  10. peeps7

    peeps7 Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    North Carolina
    I wouldn't worry about it, I have African Cichlids. I don't think you've killed your fish, my ph went down to 6.5 one time and I lost about 20 of my 40 fish. [​IMG] The regular ph for africans is 8.2. I've had my Africans for about 2.5 years and love them to death. I don't think you need to worry about, just next time don't rinse the whole thing. [​IMG]

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